Posts tagged "Poetry"
Gymnastics in Language: Herta Müller

Gymnastics in Language: Herta Müller

Looking at these collages—complete with peculiar drawings and colorful wording—one cannot help but picture a madman/woman hunched over a desk while cutting up words for ransom letters. These poems are in fact ransom letters to an oppressive regime that can only be criticized and exposed anonymously.   What do gymnasts and poets have in common?...
An Interview with Jeffrey McDaniel

An Interview with Jeffrey McDaniel

Jeffrey McDaniel has a fifth book of poetry due out soon, entitled Chapel of Inadvertent Joy. In it he draws inspiration from Marina Tsvetaeva. He recently took a little time to discuss his poetry with the California Journal of Poetics.   At readings you’ve mentioned a childhood friend from Philadelphia who inspired dark persona poems that tackle...
Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva A Reading by Ilya Kaminsky and Jean Valentine

Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva A Reading by Ilya Kaminsky and Jean Valentine

In Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva, Ilya Kaminsky and Jean Valentine take a new approach to Marina Tsvetaeva’s work by interspersing poems with fragments of prose from her “daybooks,” prose books described by one critic as a “lyric diary.” The book is formatted as an assortment of tasty Tsvetaeva tidbits: poems juxtaposed with...
The Continued Exile: Tomasz Różycki’s The Colonies

The Continued Exile: Tomasz Różycki’s The Colonies

Tomasz Różycki’s collection of poems, The Colonies, addresses issues of dislocation, abandonment, and borders shifting beyond tongue and national identity. When Poland’s borders shifted west after World War II, Różycki’s family was forced to move from Lwów, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine) to Opole, where he was born in 1970. Translator Mira Rosenthal notes in her...
Injecting Dreams into Cows by Jessy Randall

Injecting Dreams into Cows by Jessy Randall

Jessy Randall’s Injecting Dreams into Cows attempts to dismantle quibbles by critics who claim they are unable to engage with new poetry. Randall’s intent becomes clear in “The Nonexistent Orchard.” The poem opens with an epigraph from the New York Times Book Review which paints leading critic Helen Vendler as out of touch and disinterested...
Lidija Dimkovska: National Soul

Lidija Dimkovska: National Soul

And we look for the Macedonian soul among the number-plates on God’s East-West highway in cardboard boxes labeled ‘Do not open! Genes!’ loaded on the backs of the transparent dead. But one cannot rely on the dead. The dead are illegal immigrants, their swollen organs penetrating other peoples’ lands . . . Lidija Dimkovska’s collection...
Eleni Sikelianos: Experiments with Minutes

Eleni Sikelianos: Experiments with Minutes

“a piece of radish spit into the sink with the toothpaste, its purple shred & white / flesh rattle around the mind, a bit of life”   These lines appear in the long sequence, “Experiments with Minutes,” from Eleni Sikelianos’ sixth book, Body Clock (Coffee House Press 2008). The lines radiate from the page because...
Scientific Materialism and Poetics: An Interview with Eleni Sikelianos

Scientific Materialism and Poetics: An Interview with Eleni Sikelianos

I think maybe I’m an animist at heart. I know I’m an animal, and am part of a lineage of animals. I tend to see commonality and exchange between species and beyond (say, rocks and bones) rather than demarcations.   “Language is simply alive, like an organism… Words are the cells of language, moving the...
"Two Puffy Afros Going Down the Road": On Lucille Clifton's Influence

“Two Puffy Afros Going Down the Road”: On Lucille Clifton’s Influence

Nowadays when I think back to how Lucille and I were with each other, I think that she was in many ways my poetry mama.                 EDITOR’S NOTE: One morning in May 2012, tweets from Afaa Michael Weaver lit up my screen:   “Lucille Clifton taught me—in the...
A Letter to Lucille Clifton

A Letter to Lucille Clifton

Delivered at “Won’t You Celebrate with Me?” a memorial for Lucille Clifton at the Enoch Pratt Main Library in Baltimore, Maryland. June 14, 2012 ____________________________________ May 21, 2012 Somerville, Massachusetts Dear Lucille,   In case you’re wondering why I’m taking the time to write a letter to you that I plan to read in public,...
An Interview with Sarah Maclay

An Interview with Sarah Maclay

 We’re living in a moment that is not so much definitively regional or strictly hierarchic as it is kaleidoscopic.   Sarah Maclay is a poet, critic, and teacher. She lives in Los Angeles, but draws experience from a life spanning the United States and Europe. She has written three books of poetry, is working on...
Two Voices of Poetry Parnassus and the 2012 Cultural Olympiad

Two Voices of Poetry Parnassus and the 2012 Cultural Olympiad

As part of the 2012 Poetry Parnassus—an international poetry event in the spirit of the ancient Olympic Games. Poets and spoken word artists nominated to represent each of the 204 countries participating in the Valzhyna Mort will be representing Belarus. Read her February 2012 interview and our review of her latest book Collected Body.   To honor and highlight these two...